To change my 5yo daughters name?

(122 Posts)
HalfBakedCleverCookie Fri 10-May-13 14:45:25

I am planning to change the surname of my 5yo daughter. She currently has my maiden name but uses my married name so I am going to change it officially to my married name.

However whilst I am doing that via deedpoll (that is the only way to do it due to various circs) I am wondering wether to change her first name also.

Her name is Katie, when I named her I didn't realise that Katie is short for Catherine and ever since I found out I have regretted not giving her a 'proper' name. She would still use Katie as her daily name but would have the option of using Catherine when she was older.

so WIBU to change both her names while I am at it or should I leave Katie alone and just change her surname?

Change it, but make it Katherine so she keeps the same initial.

Fluffypinkcoat Fri 10-May-13 14:47:31

I think YANBU to change her surname but changing her first name is a bit too far. She can always call herself Catherine when she's older if she chooses to change it herself. You don't need to do it now.

TeamEdward Fri 10-May-13 14:47:57

Katie has been in use as a "proper" name for many years now. I think it can stand alone without being a diminutive of Catherine.
On the other hand, if you're changing her surname...
In for a penny, in for pound grin

Pendipidy Fri 10-May-13 14:48:05

Katie can be short for Katherine - not sure why you are changing the k and c - but it doesn't have to be. Seems like you are making her name a bit complicated. If her name is not Katherine, why would you change her papers to it?

NotYoMomma Fri 10-May-13 14:48:31

Keep it as Katie

I know a verysucessful Katie :D

If she was one or 2 I might think different but I really like Katie

quietlysuggests Fri 10-May-13 14:48:45

I have only ever seen on MN that people think a long name is "proper" and they go searching around for a nickname, that will be the actual name!
I think just call your child what she will be called.
So your daughter is called Katie, what relevance does Catherine have to her? Her name is Katie, and its a beautiful name. Having Catherine on her birth cert will only be a pain for visas etc and when her name is pinned up on exam boards no-one will know it is her.
Why do it?

HalfBakedCleverCookie Fri 10-May-13 14:51:20

I wasn't sure if Katie was a proper name all by itself. I didn't want her growing up thinking I only gave her a nick name.

I think maybe I have been around mumsnet too long, who knew names were so complicated!

Thanks for the Katherine tip rather than Catherine!

Don't change her first name. I have a proper name that has been shortened since I was tiny. It is a complete PITA to have to write it out for official forms, and to explain when people say, "I thought you were Liz (not real name)". Just leave well alone.

ceebie Fri 10-May-13 15:02:53

There is no right or wrong answer. Katie is fine as a first name as it is. It could also be lovely to be named Katherine with Katie as a nick-name. Everyone's different in terms of what they like / dislike. So, what do YOU want to do? And if you don't really mind either way, would you let your 5yo have a say? (I agree Katherine might be preferable to Catherine so that the initial is the same).

Of course Katie is a proper name confused

musicposy Fri 10-May-13 15:05:45

We had the opposite problem to you. We gave DD2 a proper name and called her by a nickname (very much like Katherine on the birth certificate but always calling her Katie).

She hated the proper name and we constantly regretted not just giving her the nickname. Teachers called her propername as did doctors etc. We tried to do "known as" as much as possible but she would still get referred to by propername.

Last year, when she was 12, we finally changed her name by deed poll to nickname. She has been so happy since as she is finally the name she is called by. I truly wish we had done it like you did from the start. DH felt at birth she should have a proper traditional name, but it wasn't ever really her.

One thing to consider, on the deed poll you have to sign to say you renounce all useage of the old name. We had to write to everyone who had records on her (health service/ council/ passport agency) saying she completely renounced old name. We got 5 certiified copies to do this. DD2 was very happy to do that! But you are still planning to use the old name so I'm not sure you can do what you're describing. A change of name by deed poll is effectively giving up the old name completely.

I personally would let her decide when she's older. We hung on until DD was 12 even though she was quite certain before that. We could have hung on until 16 and let her do it herself but she wanted nickname on her GCSE records so that's why we acted earlier. But 5 is very young and she might not be so happy about the change in later years.

NotYoMomma Fri 10-May-13 15:07:02

Errr

What does Katie think?

She might want to be a Claudia!

squoosh Fri 10-May-13 15:09:46

That's slightly different though musicposy as your daughter wanted her birth cert to reflect the name by which she is known day to day whereas in this case the OP wants the birth cert to show a name that isn't even currently associated with the child.

I find it a bit odd to be honest. Leave it as Katie. It is definitely a 'proper' name.

OutragedFromLeeds Fri 10-May-13 15:10:52

Or Kaitlyn?

musicposy Fri 10-May-13 15:10:52

What MrsTerryPratchett said!

Until we made the mistake of doing it I never realised what a massive PITA it is having one name on all the official documents and using another in real life. It causes so much difficulty. But if you're planning to keep calling her Katie, I can't see there's a point in making everything more complicated for her.

musicposy Fri 10-May-13 15:11:49

Squoosh, I think we're saying the same thing. I agree with you totally grin

HalfBakedCleverCookie Fri 10-May-13 15:12:42

Thats interesting musicposy I didn't realise you had to denounce your old name completely. That changes things a little bit.

I like the idea of asking DD although at 5 I'm not sure she will understand about proper names/ nicknames etc.

I suppose there is no hurry, I just thought I might as well do it while I was already changing her surname but I guess we can always do it later if she wants to.

It's just something I have always regretted but hardly a big worry in the grand scheme of things.

squoosh Fri 10-May-13 15:13:38

Yes, now I've read your post again I see we are! smile

OP don't be too swayed by the 'proper name' brigaade. They'd have you believe that unless you're called Margaret or Catherine a life of social and financial ruin lies ahead.

Domaby Fri 10-May-13 15:19:03

I wouldn't do it. I have a longer name which has two common nicknames (but one is way more common than the other). I'm known by the less common nickname which has a different initial to the longer name. It's a real pain to get people to use the nickname. Also they also sometimes just shorten it to the other nickname for the sake of it - you might get people calling your daughter Cathy rather than Katie.

MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Fri 10-May-13 15:19:15

In my daughter's year at primary school there were four Katies, three were actually Katie officially, and one was Kate. Not a Catherine or Katharine among them.

Not sure if that's helpful or not.

HalfBakedCleverCookie Fri 10-May-13 15:19:57

Thanks Sqoosh grin I don't want to disadvantage my daughter with a nickname of course. I LOVE Katie obviously but it just had never occured to me that it wasn't a proper name. It seems that a lot of people think it is fine as a proper name so I will leave it alone.

Now how about her middle name I HATE that!!

NotYoMomma Fri 10-May-13 15:20:06

It doesn't cause THAT much difficulty to be fair lol

Coming from a Victoria who never gets Victoria outs self

musicposy Fri 10-May-13 15:20:18

I've just dug out our deed poll, OP, which was done by a solicitor friend of ours.

Part of it says -

"On behalf of musicposy'sDDnickname we entirely renounce, relinquish and abandon the use of her said former name musicposy'sDDpropername and on her behalf assume adopt and determine to take and use from the date hereof the name of musicposy'sDDnickname in substitution for her former name of musicposy'sDDpropername so relinquished as aforesaid to that intent"

I'm guessing that's standard wording! in which case I don't suppose you could do it.

NotYoMomma Fri 10-May-13 15:21:12

What is it? Can we just pretend you've called her Katie Caitlin without realising ;P

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